Compensation claims for cutting a finger in a supermarket, or indeed for any injury sustained while shopping, are inevitable considering the number of supermarkets in the UK — Tesco for example, the largest operator in the country, runs over 2,700 stores. While injuries sustained in supermarkets are bound to happen occasionally, not every accident qualifies for supermarket accident compensation, and many supermarkets can often be reluctant to admit liability for an accident which happens in one of their stores.
The article below is intended to provide information on the criteria and procedures involved in pursuing a claim for a finger injury in a supermarket, and is a good basis for establishing whether you may have any claim for supermarket accident compensation. However, it is not a substitute for seeking legal advice from a legal expert and, if you believe you have grounds on which to pursue a claim for compensation against a supermarket, you should speak with a solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity.
Accident or Negligence in the Supermarket?
While accidents occur which lead to a cut finger in a supermarket, not all will qualify you to make a claim for a finger injury in a supermarket. For example, if you were to cut your finger against a display unit after slipping on a grape that fell from the trolley belonging to the shopper in front of you, the supermarket can hardly be held accountable – unless the display unit represented a hazard.
However, if the grape on which you slipped had been lying there for a considerable amount of time, the supermarket has failed in its “duty of care” to provide you with a safe environment in which to shop by not keeping the aisle clean.
The way to establish whether your accident in the supermarket was due to negligence or just an unavoidable accident, is to have a solicitor request cleaning records for the aisle, speak with the supermarket staff to see if there was any way in which your accident could have been prevented and to access security CCTV to see if it is possible to determine how long a hazard had existed before your accident occurred.
If the evidence collected by your solicitor suggests that the supermarket failed in its “duty of care”, you will be entitled to make compensation claims for cutting a finger in a supermarket.
Health Matters after a Supermarket Accident
Fortunately for most shoppers, cut finger injuries sustained in a supermarket are rarely serious and result in little more than a nick which clears up within a day. However, deeper cuts can lead to a significant loss of blood, potential infections, soft tissue damage and dexterity problems later in life.
Even if you have received first aid treatment at the supermarket, you should still have had any serious cut finger injury examined by your doctor. Your doctor will provide tetanus injections to reduce the risk of infection, check for future dexterity problems and record your injury in your medical history – an important procedure if you later choose to pursue compensation claims for cutting a finger in a supermarket.
Without a record of your injury in your medical history, it will be very difficult to make a claim for supermarket accident compensation and, if there is an unjustifiable delay between the date of your accident and when you sought professional medical attention, compensation claims for cutting a finger in a supermarket are likely to be contested on the grounds that – at the time – the injury was not considered serious enough to receive professional attention, or that your cut finger injury happened somewhere else other than in the supermarket at a later date.
Procedures Following a Cut or Fall While Shopping
After receiving professional medical attention for your cut finger, you should return to the supermarket and submit an account of the accident in the supermarket’s “Accident Report Book”. If the hazard which caused your injury still exists, you should try to take a photograph of it on your mobile phone and make a list of any staff who assisted you after your accident.
You may find that, after making an entry in the “Accident Report Book”, you are contacted directly by the supermarket´s public liability insurers. The insurance company may be automatically alerted to potential a claim for a finger injury in a supermarket under the terms of the supermarket´s insurance policy and, if an approach is made, it will be accompanied by a settlement offer of supermarket accident compensation.
Frequently these offers are much lower than you would be entitled to if you were to pursue compensation claims for cutting a finger in a supermarket with the assistance of a solicitor, as a solicitor will take into account every possible consequence of your injury. Therefore, if you have not done so already, it is in your best interests to speak with a solicitor as soon as practically possible.
The Value of Compensation Claims for Cutting a Finger in a Supermarket
No two compensation claims for cutting a finger in a supermarket are exactly the same and a number of different factors are taken into consideration when injury compensation settlements are calculated. A solicitor can provide a preliminary estimate of how much compensation a claim should be settled for on an initial consultation but, as some consequences of a serious cut finger in a supermarket may not manifest for some time, the final value of a claim for a finger injury in a supermarket may not be known for some months.
Supermarket accident compensation is awarded according to the location and severity of the cut finger along with ongoing health issue likely to be caused by your injury. Any deterioration in your lifestyle – either permanent or temporary – can also be compensated for, and it is advised that you maintain a diary to record the times your cut finger prevents you from performing day-to-day activities and participating in leisure or social events that would form part of your regular routine.
You will also be able to recover any expenses you have incurred – or are likely to incur in the future. In the case of compensation claims for cutting a finger in a supermarket, this could include the cost of private physiotherapy if there is a possible mobility issue with your finger or the cost of using public transport if your injury prevents you from driving. Should you suffer a loss of income because your cut finger injury prevents you from going to work, you can also include this factor in a claim for a finger injury in a supermarket.
Contributory Negligence and Liability for an Accident
A common argument used by public liability insurance companies when defending a claim for a finger injury in a supermarket is that the claimant would have been able to avoid the accident which caused their injury if they had acted “with reasonable care”. Some insurers use this argument in order to suggest that a claimant is guilty of contributory negligence and any compensation settlement should be reduced to reflect the claimant´s own lack of care.
While a supermarket would not normally favour taking this route — as it implies that it does not try to present its goods to customers in the most appealing fashion possible — there are other ways an insurer could argue contributory negligence and reduce their level of liability for an accident in a supermarket.
If a customer should cut their finger while shopping and fail to seek professional medical attention within a reasonable period of time, as mentioned above it would be contested that the shopper exacerbated their injury. Other scenarios, such as if a customer reaches to a high shelf and catches their finger on an object that would normally be out of sight, might also lead to a reduction of supermarket accident compensation if it were argued that a supermarket assistant could have fetched some steps and prevented the accident from occurring.
Legal Advice about Supermarket Accident Compensation
Compensation claims for cutting a finger in a supermarket are not a common occurrence and, because of the potential for a serious injury to develop, it is always in your best interests to discuss the nature of your accident in the supermarket and the consequences that your injury has made to your quality of life with a solicitor – preferably at the first practical moment.